Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Another Cracker!

Jay - New Hare Covert
Another birding week and another outing in search of incoming summer visitors and you guessed it, Brandon Marsh at first light! These are the mornings any birder lives for, clear blue skies, the slightest of breezes and the anticipation of incoming spring migrants.

I watched the sun rising over Brandon top reed bed this morning with a Grasshopper Warbler reeling, Linnets singing and early rising Swallows passing overhead. The dawn chorus was just amazing with a cacophony of song: Willow Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Wren, Dunnock, Blackcap and the remaining unpaired Chiffchaffs. Even a couple of zitting Lesser Redpolls high in the poplars got in on the act.

Linnet - Several Around The Reserve Today
Following on, now joined by Martin and Derek, a walk passed Sheepfield and on through New Hare Covert had Lesser Whitethroat, Goldcrest, Nuthatch, Coal Tit and the ever present but shy Jay, one of my favorite birds. A second Lesser Whitethroat after meeting up with Pete, Jim and Mike near the golf course and onward to Big Hide for a well earned coffee.

The Sand Martin structure looks well used and the East Marsh Wader count for the day included (5) LR Plover, (4) Redshank (4) Oystercatcher, (2) Snipe and (1) Common Sandpiper. Shoveler and Teal numbers continue to wane and also recorded on the pools worth a mention, (4) Great Crested Grebe and (3) Gadwall. Warblers for the day included the above mentioned plus Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler and a third Lesser Whitethroat near the volunteers car park, which led me a merry dance trying to capture a photo! Plenty of Buzzards on the thermals with Kestrel and (2) Sparrowhawk, one of which was carrying prey. Other birds noted included: (4) Cetti's Warbler heard, (2) Cuckoo, Water Rail, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker and Treecreeper.

Butterflies were out in reasonable numbers today and these included (22) Peacock, (5) Brimstone, (2) Comma and my first Green-veined White of the year.

Arctic Tern - Napton Reservoir
From Brandon a stop off at Napton Reservoir for an hour or so amazingly produced my fourth Lesser Whitethroat of the day, yet another Yellow Wagtail, Skylark and for me the bird of the day: Arctic Tern, which was constantly fishing out towards the centre during the whole of my visit. More Butterflies with Brimstone, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell and another 2013 first, ♂Orange Tip.